/ 23 April 2013

Suárez: Don’t fight the bite

Luis Suárez with Branislav Ivanovic.
Luis Suárez with Branislav Ivanovic.

Footballer Luis Suárez may be clouded in controversy after he chewed on Branislav Ivanović's bicep during a Chelsea-Liverpool match on Sunday, but he's not the first sports-fiend to sink his teeth into an opponent. Here's a few more of sporting's best bites.

  1. Tommy Raudonikis: A bite for spite. In 1976, this Australian rugby player came down on opponent Johnny Gibbs's nose with a bite so brutal, he almost tore it off. Raudonikis later proclaimed himself "the phantom biter" and graced the cover of the Rugby League Week magazine with a vampire-toothed smile. 

    RLW Flashback: June 26, 1976. 'I'm the phantom bite... on Twitpic

  2. Tree Rollins: "Tree bites man". That's what the headline of the Boston Herald read in 1983. One day prior, during an NBA match, Atlanta Hawks player Rollins got excited during a face-off with Boston Celtics' Danny Ainge, and gave Ainge's finger a taste. The Celtics' player earned himself stitches and a tetanus shot.

  3. Mike Tyson: Get a lobe of this. The temperamental boxer decided to take a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear in an attempt to win back his heavyweight title in 1997. Tyson was disqualified and fined a hefty $3-million for his aural snack.

  4. Francisco Gallardo: Biting the bullet. Seville's soccer player took team spirit to a whole new level in 2001 after teammate José Antonio Reyes scored a goal against Valladolid. Gallardo congratulated Reyes by chewing on the goalscorer's genitals. Needless to say, the fine and suspension he faced were tiny sore points compared to a lifetime of humiliation he endured for being "that guy".

  5. Dylan Hartley: Sometimes the victim is the victor. England's rugby player faced an eight-week suspension in 2012 after biting Ireland's flanker Stephen Ferris on the finger. Seems like the England hooker took the "eye for an eye" adage to heart, as he was on the receiving end of some gnashing just a year before when Springbok player Pedrie Wannenburg gave Hartley's wrist a nibble.